The good work of Universal is being ignored

As a member of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, I was astonished by your screaming headlines on March 20. Not that I'm not used to such persecutions.

The church has been hit by all sorts of criticisms, which your "protesting pastors" have been defending for years, hence it is "fastest-growing charismatic church " as you put it.

I've been with the church for about five years and I don't remember being "exhorted to make donations" or am I brainwashed? I give my tithe and offering out of my belief in the Bible and the power of giving, not out of any coercion. Our faith is not based on emotions, but on the Spirit of God, which is intelligent.

One "protesting pastor" said: "These people are a family and are running a business." Is Bishop Marcedo Grivella, a white man - a senator in Brazil - related to Bishop Frank Rathebe, a black South African? And how can they be related to Pastor Phillip from Switzerland?

The church has built many multi-million cathedrals in South Africa and many poorer countries in Africa. It donates clothing, blankets, food and most importantly, the message of hope and salvation.

It circulates about free newspapers and pays hundreds of thousands of rands to radio and TV stations to bring the message of salvation to the poor. Your newspaper seems to ignore this and focus on un-researched rumours.

Abraham Mahlaba, Pretoria